By Shawn Morse
Creating a unique and engaging experience is key to attracting new millennial buyers. Second only to Baby Boomers, Millennials wield $200 billion annual direct buying power (according to the U.S. Chamber Foundation) and they are, most likely to be the single most demanding generation when it comes to service and their approach to buying.
The Millennial generation is changing the means–and speed–by which marketplace information is exchanged. With 85 percent of this population owning smartphones, their daily cell phone usages averages more than 45 times per day. As information is easily accessible on their mobile devices, marketers find this group to be highly educated regarding what they want, as they are diligent in making sure their pre-buying decisions are determined based on extensive research and peer consultation. Additionally, they are relentless when it comes to price comparison. For example, it’s more common than not, to have this generation of buyer shop inventory, features and pricing with your competitor –while they are actively engaged onsite at your dealership with a salesperson.
Dealerships need to evolve and incorporate digital marketing technologies that identify, communicate and extend viable offers that will attract these “cost conscious” buyers. For your marketing team, a wise decision would be to introduce predictive analytics that help identify real potential buyers; create push notifications and extend offers to generate vehicle purchase interest. Incorporate solutions that provide real-time inventory details. Offer mobile-friendly credit checks, and financing approval convenience. All of these touchpoints form opportunities for data collection that can be used for retargeting efforts, special offer campaigns and future follow up with the customer. Leverage this information to better understand the market mindset, needs and wants to develop personalized campaigns that appeal to these traits.
Customer Experience Centric
Once you have captured the Millennial customers’ attention and they’ve begun to engage at the dealership, be sure to incorporate mobile friendly processes and technology that keep the conversation fluid, and create a positive customer buying experience. With the advancement of some CRM solutions, consider implementing a CRM that simplifies the vehicle sales process–which will allow the sales team to spend less time using software to locate requisite data, and more time creating a more personalized sales experience. By focusing on your customer, your sales team can be more effective in managing the relationship these customers want with your dealership.
When considering which CRM can deliver the most effective and efficient experience, leverage solutions that utilize:
- Modern Day technology platforms that are designed for responsible mobile use, as opposed to archaic solutions that were built prior to the iPhone
- cloud-based data storage technology for quick and efficient data reporting
- incorporate soft pull credit reports so everything is captured and readily available for the customers’ needs
- a smart process engine for leveraging a scheduler for task assignment, and management based on workflow and completion
- user interface that offers full visibility into the customer account, as opposed to having to access multiple screens
Service Supersedes Brand
Millennials share almost everything via social media. Documenting experiences, asking for advice and referrals, and capturing that ‘selfie’ for the 1000th time, is highly important to them. By eliminating aging-processes that create long hours for the buying process, such as inventory selection, price negotiating and vehicle prepping, you can create opportunities that put your dealership in a positive perspective in the eye of the consumer, instill a reason for positive promotion, and most importantly– interact with them on the level that they are most accustomed to – quickly, friendly, and digitally.
Superior service, trust and street buzz will drive more traffic to your showroom with this new buying demographic more than standard product loyalty possibly will. Although we strive for consistent brand loyalty, it’s important that we keep in mind that this new consumer cares about service first, and brand loyalty second.